RingSide Report

World News, Social Issues, Politics, Entertainment and Sports

De Ja Vu

By Ron Signore

One of my favorite song lyrics comes from Dave Matthews. “Everyday things change, but basically they stay the same.”

Now, this can definitely carry an interpretation as specific or general as one pleases, but with Matthew’s carpe diem style of music writing, the interpretation is that our lives tend to become mundane. Take me for example. I get up, work, drink coffee, work, eat, work, eat, watch tv, go to bed. That basic structure is my every day. Within those days, yea, I may have a different phone call, different tasks within my job, etc… but in reality, it isn’t anything different. The proverbial “same church, different pew.”

As we go through this notion of life, we find instances of history repeating itself. We can go through some cyclical empire changes, to civil rights, but this is going to be that deep of information. At a high level, there are some strong feelings of de ja vu here in 2024 to 2020. Politically speaking, we have President Biden likely squaring off against Cheeto Boy. If that doesn’t end up happening for the general election, it definitely feels like it at the moment.

With right and left divided more than ever, it can get kind of depressing. We can see many of the same things being claimed in different settings politically. So, why not give everyone a break and focus on something a little less “serious” for a second…

Biden and Chump aren’t the only 2020 rematch in 2024. On February 11, 2024, we will have a rematch of the 2020 Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. “Less serious” can be debated, I suppose, since many sports fans live and die every day by the team they support. For me, any day the White Sox win and the Cubs lose is a good day. It is hard to top that for me. But I am indeed a 49ers fan, hoping to get some revenge for that 2020 loss to the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.

This year, we have the Chiefs holding the number 2 ranked defense in yards allowed, and 2nd ranked team in sacks. San Francisco brings their second 2nd ranked offense by yards per game, fourth ranked passing attack and 3rd ranked rushing offense, respectively. This also puts the 2nd ranked Chiefs defense allowing 17.3 points per game (the 49ers are 3rd at 17.5 ppg) against a 49ers offensive arsenal that averaged 29 points per game between the regular and post season thus far, which ranked 3rd.

In a contest that saw a very similar Chiefs team on the field in the 2020 match up, the Chiefs succeeded to win the Super Bowl in 2020 coming from behind at the half to win 31-20. Even through this upcoming Sunday, I will continue to worry about 49ers Coach Kyle Shannahan being able to hold a lead in a big game. The stigma sticks with him between that and the foundational 28-3 collapse in Super Bowl LI when, then as offensive coordinator, Shannahan’s Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead against the Tom Brady led Patriots, who ended up winning 34-28.

The 49ers are a slightly different team than they were in 2020. They are led by a quarterback out of Iowa State, the last pick in the 2022 draft known as Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy. And in addition to great players like Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel who were there in 2020, the 49ers have a force at running back in Christian McCaffery.

Another difference in this game is the KC defense. Strong rankings are one thing, but for a team with an unbelievable quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, and dynamic duo that includes him and Travis Kelce, the defense has really carried them to this point. I would take that with a grain of salt though. Between Mahomes, Kelce, and the rest of their offense, they can hit hard and fast to get on the scoreboard. If this Chiefs team can put it all together, play 60 minutes at the potential that both their offense and defense have, every single 49er’s fan better say a prayer, because that +10 turnover differential to the Chiefs -11 turnover differential will mean nothing.

The 49ers have a team that can mirror that danger from both sides of the ball. So, what will be the keys to this game, and who will win? We can discern some of these concepts with statistical analysis by way of the rankings and their associated stats as indicated earlier. However, this is a game between two really strong teams with incredible ability through highly skilled players all around.

Odds show the SF 49ers as 1.5/2pt favorites depending on the sports book you look at. Despite nearly 80 percent of the bets being placed on KC to win, the line has held relatively steady. If the spread pushes further with SF as a 2.5/3 point favorite, we will know that the big money, despite 20 percent of the total bets, will be on SF. If it pushes closer to 0, we will know both the money and the total bets are backing the Chiefs. And why not? Giving Patrick Mahomes points is dangerous. The total has an over/under of 47.5. So, between both the line and the total, we should be expecting a very tight, close played game. The team that capitalizes on the mistakes of the other team will be the winner of this game. The total is not too high and not too low, so in reality, with the spread, they are anticipating a game that ends 24-23 or so. That half point will mean a lot as a gambler.

From an outside perspective, if offense and defense are about equal, and if both teams play flawlessly, what will be the difference between winning and losing? Special Teams, while Harrison Butker is arguably a better FG kicker for KC, are not that much different to give either any real edge. The biggest potential edge when all is said and done will be the edge of coaching. Andy Reid has proven over his career how to be humble in defeat and in victory, but most importantly, take lessons from each scenario and has worked himself to arguably be the best coach in the game right now. Combine that with Shannahan’s history of blowing the big game, I think Shannahan has a huge hill to climb to outmaneuver the 2X Super Bowl winning coach in Reid.

Whether the game is low or high scoring, I do not think there is any reason to expect anything but a tight battle from start to finish. I believe we will see a more balanced offensive attack from the 49ers that creates long, time consuming drives due to the amount of plays the drives will contain. Adversely, I would argue that the Chiefs are going to have to score quickly with more big plays in order to defeat this 49ers Defense. Mahomes will have to find ways to play the refs, identify defensive holding on routes and draw attention to getting free yards.

My prediction is 49ers 31- Chiefs 27, covering the spread and going over the total.

And on a more important note, I hope that Taylor Swift is in the mood to make another announcement, this time instead of a new album being dropped like she did at the Grammys earlier this week.

However, this time with Travis Kelce at halftime (I would settle for post-game) to announce their endorsement of President Biden. Not that it really matters to me, I just like seeing the MAGA Morons upset, so go ahead and prove them right on this covert op conspiracy. Enjoy the game!

Click Here to Order Boxing Interviews Of A Lifetime By “Bad” Brad Berkwitt